We live in a world with finite or limited resources. It means that one day, these resources will run out unless we find a way to conserve our resources and renew them for future generations. What is alarming is the significant growth of the Earth’s population over the last decades, where we are now at a population of 7.8 billion people around the world. Not only is there a growing need for Earth’s resources, but the waste generated from consuming these resources is also taking a great toll on the planet.
Knowing these bits of facts should be enough to get us to start reducing our waste. Read on as we share some simple tips for starting a zero-waste lifestyle and helping our planet recover in our little ways.
Start the Change Gradually
Change your mindset first before making the changes in your lifestyle. Many of us have the wrong mindset of thinking that change will be radical and will adversely affect our way of life. Instead, set your mind to make one change at a time and observe its benefits and drawbacks. It would be easier to think of starting a low waste lifestyle before shifting to a zero-waste lifestyle later on. Start with the easy first steps, like bringing a reusable shopping bag when doing groceries or eating real fruits, vegetables, or anything that doesn’t come in packaging.
Single-use plastics or disposable plastics are one of the biggest waste problems our planet is currently facing. Landfills and oceans alike are getting filled with more disposable plastics like straws, plastic bags, water bottles, and most food packaging. They pollute the environment and damage the ecosystem. Even liquid soap and shampoo containers end up in landfills and oceans quite often. These plastic wastes take many years to break down and are toxic pollutants to the environment. Plastic containers from takeout foods can be reused for giving extra food or leftovers to friends and family after a party. Don’t throw your soap and shampoo containers yet, as they can be reused as toothbrush holders, pencil holders, or a container for small household items.
Use Less of Everything
Most of the products we use at home are packaged in a way that we use more than what we need. While soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, and detergents are essential items at home, what we can do is use them sparingly or use less of them to reduce waste. Even the small conveniences like plastic straws and coffee stirrers are things we can do without. Even if we enjoy our smoothies and drinks with a straw, there are also reusable and biodegradable alternatives to replace the plastic straws we usually use.
Use Glass Jars as Food Containers
A good way of reducing plastic waste is to change your plastic Tupperware food containers and Ziploc bags to glass jars. A container made of glass is less reactive than plastic and does not affect the flavor and quality of your stored food items. Even sauce, coffee, and mayonnaise jars can be reused as food containers. Most glass jars are transparent, which makes it easier for you to observe the contents of your stored food and consume them before they expire or get spoiled and avoid wasting food.
Large changes begin with one small step. Don’t think of a zero-waste lifestyle as a difficult task or a radical change in your way of life. Instead, think of it as an attainable goal that can be achieved with one small change at a time. To further motivate you in starting this change, think of how your little efforts to reduce waste today can give great benefits for the next generation.